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Driving NYC to NOLA: via Charlottesville, NC section of blue ridge..Alabama

My daughter and I are driving from NYC to NOLA in a week---and will probably hit Charlottesville, the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and possibly both Ashville and Knoxville--and are still deciding what city to pass through in Alabama I have already taken a good look at the Ashville comments (sounds like Early Girl is the winner..) but appreciate any suggestions in Charlottesville, then near I-81 heading south, also off the NoCarolina part of the Blue Ridge Parkway--and finally, foodwise, do I come through Montgomery, AL, or..??

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Blue Ridge
84 Blue Ridge Cir, Black Mountain, NC 28711

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  1. A few questions. Where do you plan to spend the night. We could recommend a fine place for dinner near your hotel. Do you think you will be on I 81 in VA at all. If you go through Charlottesville and Asheville you may take 3 days to get to NOLA. What kind of restaurants are you interested in. Are you mainly considering lunch on the road or dinner over night. Do you like BBQ, country food, Ethnic, Asian, fine dining or what. I would skip Knoxville if I had the choice of Knoxville or Asheville. Asheville has some fine restaurants. Birmingham is on your route. There are some fine places there and Montgomery.

    1. On your way S on I 81 in VA you will have a lot of options for road food. You may just want to stop for a rest and a cold drink. The Naked Oyster is a great place for lunch/dinner at Winchester at Exit 313. Try the buffet at Butcher Block BBQ @ Exit 307 in Stephens City. Just down I 81 a few miles at New Market is Southern Kitchen serving outstanding country food for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Exit 264. Harrisonburg has quite a few fine road food places convenient to I 81. I suggest you consider Jess' Quick Lunch or Little Grill at Exit 247. The Village Inn is very nice also at Exit 240. Staunton is just W of I 81 and a very nice town also. It's home to Mrs. Rowe's country food breakfast, lunch and dinner and Wright's Dairy Rite. Lexington, VA has a number of good restaurants like Bistro on Main for lunch/dinner, Macado's for sandwiches and Sheridan Livery Inn and Restaurant for lunch/dinner. Lexington is the home of VMI and W&L U. It's a beautiful town a few minutes W of I 81 and worth a visit.

      Roanoke has quite a few nice restaurants but they are mostly in town. The best option on I 81 in that area if you don't have a lot of time and you are trying to make good road time is Three Little Pigs at Daleville at Exit 150 5 miles N of Roanoke. It's located in a small shopping center less than two minutes off W side of I 81 and serves great BBQ. It also has a very nice outdoor seating area and the menu includes sandwiches and salads for those who don't want BBQ. They also serve cold adult beverages. The shopping center has some very nice stores in case you are in need of road supplies. There are nice hotels on both sides of I 81 and a nice big truck stop to refuel and pick up road supplies.

      In Christiansburg just down the road a piece is Dude's, Due South, Farm House and Summit. All are very good places to eat. On S on I 81 in Wytheville, VA stop at Smokey's BBQ at Exit 70 or 73. Peking Chinese Restaurant is outstanding also. C J's Pizza is good if you have kids. At Abingdon, VA there's some fine places. Have lunch or dinner at Peppermill or BBQ at Parks BBQ at Exit 17. Chick N Little is good country food and Ellis Soda Shop and Grill has good salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers and more with outdoor seating as well. Wildflower Bakery and Cafe is great for breakfast,lunch or dinner and it's close to I 81 at Exit 19. If you have time to detour to Johnson City or Bluff City then Cootie Brown's and Ridgewood BBQ are good road stops.

      Naked Oyster @ 2444 Valley Avenue, Winchester, VA 540 - 678 - 0778.
      http://www.thenakedoysterwinchester.com/

      Butcher Block BBQ @ 131 Town Run Lane, Stephens City, VA 540 - 869 - 4141.
      http://www.butcherblockbuffet.com/

      Southern Kitchen @ 9576 South Congress St., New Market, VA 540 - 740 - 3514.

      Jess' Quick Lunch @ 22 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 540 434 - 8282.
      Little Grill @ 621 North Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 540 - 434 - 3594.
      http://littlegrillcollective.com/
      The Village Inn @ 4979 South Valley Pike - S Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 540 - 434 - 7355.
      http://www.thevillageinn.travel/

      Mrs. Rowe's Family Restaurant @ 74 Rowe Rd., Staunton, VA 540 - 886 - 1833.
      http://www.mrsrowes.com/
      Wright's Dairy Rite @ 346 Greenville Ave., Staunton, VA 540 - 886 - 0435. I81/EXIT220. ***
      http://www.dairy-rite.com/

      Bistro on Main @ 8 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 4888.
      http://www.bistro-lexington.com/
      Macado's @ 30 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 8201.
      http://www.macados.net/
      Sheridan Livery Inn & Restaurant @ 35 North Main St., Lexington, VA 540 - 464 - 1887.
      http://www.sheridanliveryinn.com/

      Dude's Drive In @ 1505 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 7901.
      Due South BBQ @1465 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 381 - 2922.
      http://www.duesouthbbq.com/
      Farm House Food @ 285 Ridinger St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 4253. .
      http://www.thefarmhouseonline.com/
      Summit Restaurant @ 95 College St., Christiansburg, VA 540 - 382 - 7218.
      http://www.summitrestaurant.us/

      Three Lil Pigs BBQ @ 120 Kingston Dr., Daleville, VA 540 - 966 - 0165.
      http://www.threelilpigsbbq.com/

      Smokey's BBQ @ 1090 East Main Street, Wytheville, VA 276 - 228 - 9014.
      http://smokeysbbq.com/
      Peking Chinese Restaurant @ 105 Malin Drive, Wytheville, VA 276 - 228 - 5515.
      http://www.pekingva.com/
      C J's Pizza @ 1025 West Lee Highway, Wytheville, VA 276 - 228 - 8448.

      Parks Mill BBQ @ 21405 Parks Mill Rd., Abingdon, VA 276 - 628 - 9191.
      http://parksmill.com/
      Peppermill Restaurant @ 967 West Main St., Abingdon, VA 276 - 623 - 0530.
      http://www.thepeppermill.com/pmillhom...
      Chick N Little @ 401 West Main St., Abingdon, VA 276 - 628 - 6690.
      Ellis Soda Shoppe and Grill @ 217 West Main St., Abingdon, VA 276 - 623 - 8187.
      http://www.ellissodashoppe.com/
      Wild Flower Bakery and Cafe @ 24443 Lee Hwy., Abingdon, VA 276 - 676 - 4221.

      Cootie Brown's @ 2715 North Roan St., Johnson City, TN 423 - 283 - 4723.
      http://www.cootiebrowns.com/
      Ridgewood BBQ @ 900 Elizabethton Hwy., Bluff City, TN 423 - 538 - 7543.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Littleman

        Wow--great start! current plan: three night stops over four days: charlottesville VA, then ashville, and either Birmingham or Montgomery--depending on where I would get a better meal. not looking for fancy or 'destination' and will probably prefer southern cooking to asian, since I live in NYC. thanks for all suggestions!

      2. Troutdale Bistro is the place for lunch/dinner in Bristol, TN. Just S about 10 miles on E side of I 81 is Dixie Outpost BBQ if you prefer at Exit 69. Go E on # 394 a mile or two then turn left or N on # 126 just a few minutes to Dixie.

        Troutdale Bistro @ 724 State St., Bristol, TN 423 - 989 - 3663.
        http://troutdalebistro.com/

        Dixie Outpost BBQ @ 3172 Highway 126, Blountville, TN 423 - 574 - 7447.

        Phil's Dream Pit BBQ is excellent at Exit 67AB near Kingsport, TN. Go E on I 26 just a minute to Exit 10 then go N on Eastern Star Rd. a minute. About 5 minutes off I 81.

        Phil's Dream Pit @ 534 Eastern Star Rd., Kingsport, TN 423 - 349 - 6437.
        http://www.philsdreampit.com/

        Here's a neat place 30 miles E of Knoxville with good seafood for lunch. If you don't eat you can rest and get a cold drink. Get off I 40 at Exit 417 and go S on Hwy. 92 a couple of miles to Dandridge, TN. This runs into Meeting St. Go 5/6 blocks to Dandridge Seafood Restaurant.

        Dandridge Seafood Restaurant @ 310 East Meeting St., Dandridge, TN 865 - 397 - 2315.

        I would rather go to Smoky's Steak and BBQ which is one street over on E. Main and before the Dandridge Seafood Restaurant. They have good burgers, salads, etc. I know you did not want BBQ but Smoky's is a very nice restaurant in an attractive location with outdoor dining on the front porch. Check this link for their menu.

        Smoky's Steak and BBQ @ 149 East Main St., Dandridge, TN 865 - 397 - 2272.
        http://www.smokyssteakandbbq.com/

        Litton's is a good family restaurant in Knoxville, TN but it's not convenient to I 40. If you took the I 640 by pass around Knoxville, TN on the N side it's pretty convenient. Get off I 640 at Exit 6 and go N on N Broadway SE to Litton's for good country family food.

        Litton's Market and Restaurant @ 2803 Essary Dr., Knoxville, TN 865 - 688 - 0429.
        http://www.littonburgers.com/

        West of Knoxville get off I 75 at Exit 373 on the S side and hit the first street left on Parkside and go about a mile to Smokey Mountrain Brewery for pizza, burgers and steaks.

        Smokey Mountain Brewery @ 11308 Parkside Dr., Knoxville, TN 865 - 288 - 5500.
        http://www.coppercellar.net/smbSite.s...

        The folks that own Smokey Mountain own Copper Cellar just N of SM at Exit 380 S of I 75 on Parkside also convenient to plenty of shopping and just a minute off I 75. Both places are similar.

        Copper Cellar Restaurant @ 7316 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 865 - 673 - 3422.
        http://www.coppercellar.net/copperSit...

        There's a place on I 75 before you get to Chattanooga at Exit 5 on Shallowford Rd. called Country Place for great breakfast/lunch.

        Country Place Restaurant @ 7320 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga, TN 423 - 855 - 1392.
        http://www.countryplacerestaurant.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Littleman

          thanks--just the kind of info I needed!

        2. Downtown Grille, The Ivy, C & O, Zocalo, Mas, Maya and Michie Tavern are great restaurants in Charlottesville. Michie Tavern is a historical property that is located near Monticello. I like DT Grille and C & O. I like Mas too. I like the Tapas menu and the building is very nice. Zocalo has outdoor dining if the weather is nice.

          Downtown Grille @ 201 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 817 - 7080.
          http://www.downtowngrille.com/

          The Ivy Inn Restaurant @ 2244 Old Ivy Rd., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 977 - 1222.
          http://www.ivyinnrestaurant.com/

          C & O Restaurant @ 515 E Water St., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 971 - 7044.
          http://www.candorestaurant.com/

          Zocalo Restaurant @ 201 East Main St/, Charlottesville, VA 434 - 977 - 4944.
          http://zocalo-restaurant.com/

          Mas Tapas @ 501 Monticello Rd., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 979 - 0990.
          http://www.mastapas.com/

          Maya Restaurant @ 633 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 979 - 6292.
          http://www.maya-restaurant.com/

          Michie Tavern @ 683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy., Charlottesville, VA 434 - 977 - 1234.
          http://www.michietavern.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            great--hoping for good weather..will be there tonight.

            1. re: Littleman

              Well, Littleman, since you've mentioned three of my favorite places in VA, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for places to eat in Staunton, other than Mrs. Rowe's?
              I've always loved both Southern Kitchen and Mrs. Rowes. As long as people don't expect anything fancy, but enjoy well prepared regional cooking, both of these places are great. It's good to hear the C&O is still a good place - my wife and I first went there 15-20 years ago.
              My kids are now at an age where they eat anything, and are pretty adventurous.

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              Southern Kitchen
              606 S Madison St, Whiteville, NC 28472

            2. Admiral is the most talked about restaurant in Asheville. It's located at Exit 2 off I 240 and open for dinner. Corner Kitchen is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Early Girl is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Exit 4C off I 240. Fig Bistro is outstanding for lunch or dinner located near Biltmore. Lexington Ave. Brewery at Exit 5A off I 240 is fun for lunch or dinner. Moose Cafe is very nice open for breakfast, lunch or dinner and located in the Farmer's Market which makes it even more interesting. Pick up some fresh vegetables to take to NOLA. It's located at Exit 47 off I 40. Tupelo Honey Cafe is all very well liked open for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Exit 4C off I 240.

              Admiral @ 400 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 828 - 252 - 2541.
              http://www.theadmiralnc.com/

              Corner Kitchen @ 3 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 828 - 274 - 2439.
              http://www.thecornerkitchen.com/

              Early Girl Eatery @ 8 Wall Street, Asheville, NC 828 - 259 - 9292.
              http://www.earlygirleatery.com/

              Fig Bistro @ 18 Brook Street, Asheville, NC 828 - 277 - 0889.
              http://www.figbistro.com/

              Lexington Ave. Brewery @ 39 North Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 828 - 252 - 0212.
              http://www.lexavebrew.com/

              Moose Cafe @ 570 Brevard Road Asheville, NC 828 - 255 - 0920.
              http://eatatthemoosecafe.com/

              Tupelo Honey Cafe @ 12 College Street, Asheville, NC 828 - 255 - 4863.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Littleman

                fresh veggies to take to nola--good idea.